Jessica Merino, CFP®
President & Financial Advisor
Jessica’s interest in finances started back when she was about 9 years old, long before she knew what financial planning was. For birthdays, she passed up the usual doll and board game requests and instead asked for shares of stock, as she was much more fascinated with the stock market. While in high school, she began investing her own money, which lead her to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, Investments, & Banking from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. She took a position as a financial advisor at a large firm where she worked for 11 years before starting Merino Wealth. At this point, Jessica’s not only been a financial advisor for 13 years, but she’s also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. A mere 24% of advisors have this designation and she’s proud to say that she passed the CFP® certification exam on her first try!
Over the years, while Jessica has helped clients in all walks of life, she has become an expert in helping female entrepreneurs who consider themselves Gen X-ers, Xennials, or Millennials. She understands their challenges so her goal is to help them feel more confident and less stressed as they pursue their financial goals. She loves her work because she finds that it leads to a domino effect of financial empowerment as her clients help themselves and others.
In her free time, Jessica volunteers with Step Up, mentoring young women in under-resourced communities. She’s also a member of the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago, TIC’s Women Advisor Group, and the Financial Planning Association. Jessica lives on the Near North Side of Chicago with her wonderful husband Mike and their adorable dog Finnegan. They both love to cook and frequently spend their weekends hosting gatherings in their condo with friends and family.
Addie Pesche, AFC®
Addie has always been a people-person who enjoys working with and helping others. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Consumer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. Addie has lived in three different states and in many countries. Her experience as a military spouse has enabled her to adapt quickly to new situations. One of her proudest professional moments took place nearly five years ago when she received her certification as an Accredited Financial Counselor® through AFCPE®.
Spending the last several years raising two rambunctious boys, Addie has continued to develop her professional skills in several volunteer capacities. Her experiences include preparing taxes for VITA, teaching financial readiness classes for military families, preparing first-term Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen in financial responsibility, coaching youth soccer. She is very proud to have spent seven years as a Military Key Spouse, an integral liaison between military spouses and their units.
When not light-saber battling with her boys, Addie enjoys date nights with her husband, trying out new recipes in the kitchen, exploring the neighborhood on long walks with friends, and ticking off life’s experiences from her ever growing bucket list.
Michael grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. After attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he moved to Chicago and began his professional career working for Citibank as a Customer Service Representative. While working for Citibank, Michael flexed his creative and entrepreneurial muscles by launching a pop culture website and eventually left Citibank to found his own company, Fameish Media.
After running Fameish Media for a few years, and launching multiple websites, Michael ended up selling his company to Buzznet (which eventually became SpinMedia) and moved to Los Angeles, California to work for the company as a consultant and Office Manager. While living in Los Angeles, Michael got married and adopted two dogs, Shabba and Kobie. He spent several years working with Habitat for Humanity and No-Kill Los Angeles, a state-of-the-art pet adoption center.
In late 2017, they all moved back to Chicago and are currently living on the North Side. When not helping make things run smoothly in the office, Michael spends his free time with the dogs at the park, exploring the restaurants of Chicago or taking in a movie.